Market and Public Organisation

The Market and Public Organisation research theme combines expertise in economics, geography and law to examine the intersection between public and private sectors of the economy and to understand how best to organise and deliver public services. Research is carried out in the Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO).

Market and Public Organisation concerns governments all around the world and the theme’s leading international research aims to contribute to public debate and inform policy-making.

Market and Public Organisation is an area which concerns governments all around the world. CMPO has strong international links and produces leading international research that aims to contribute to public debate and inform policy-making.

Research within CMPO focuses on the analysis of public service organisations in terms of incentives, markets and information. Research areas include: responses to incentives and market-like institutions; individual differences in public service motivation; the role of performance indicators and outcome targets in the behaviour of organisations; and the spatial dimension to public service outcomes.

CMPO members have published numerous papers in refereed and highly-renowned economics journals and have been very active in disseminating the centre’s work to the policy community via conferences and informal briefings, presentations and seminars to government officials. Our research bulletin, Research in Public Policy, is published twice a year and our work receives regular coverage in print and broadcast media. The centre has also produced four evidence reviews on important topics in public organisation: Choice in Education and Health Care, Private Involvement in Public Services, Productivity in Public Services, and Incentives in the Public Sector.

We train new researchers in quantitative social science, support the use of complex micro-datasets and encourage interdisciplinary research between economists, geographers, lawyers and social policy researchers.

Future research will include:

  • Markets and the government provision of public services, focussing on the role of market structure and interactions between public and private sectors in labour and capital markets;
  • The role of the third sector in public service delivery, including the relationship between institutional structure and individual motivation, and contracting issues when multiple mission-oriented organisations are involved in providing services;
  • Continued analysis of neighbourhood sorting and public services, including a long-run analysis of sorting using a new network-based method of segregation, and the development of new methodologies to model the interplay between schools and neighbourhoods.

Further information

Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO)


Professor Simon Burgess
Theme leader
+44 (0) 331 0764

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